Have you enjoyed dessert in the desert lately? I have and that is this week’s Sunday Stills theme, “dessert or desert.” Pick one or the other or enjoy dessert in the desert like we did!

I had thought of this theme before we embarked on the road trip but hadn’t assigned a date to it yet. It worked out for me to share the rest of our road trip since most of July was spent in the deserts of Arizona and Nevada.

road through Prescott
Backroads to Prescott, Arizona

Disclaimer—this may be a wordy post as I share experiences about the rest of our road trip. I won’t be offended if you just want to look at the pretty pics and comment on them 😊

I hadn’t mentioned last week that we also visited my other brother’s home in the San Diego area. He and his gaggle of girls (5 adopted daughters) and my beautiful sis-in-law benefitted from the sale of our family home in 2020, and they secured a new-to-them home. A huge space for their wonderful family.

July Itinerary

We spent June 20-July 4 in Northern and Southern California.

  • July 5 depart San Diego; arrive in Prescott, Arizona (6 hours).
  • July 5-7 Prescott with Marsha
  • July 7-10 depart Prescott; arrive in Fountain Hills, Arizona to stay with my brother
  • July 11 back to San Diego for a quick overnight
  • July 12 depart San Diego; arrive back to Sacramento Delta, 2 nights camping in RV
  • July 14 depart delta and drive to Verdi (Reno) Nevada (3.5 hours)
  • July 14-18 KOA Verdi, Nevada. Camped in KOA campground (with AC!). Stayed here to visit with my dad to celebrate his 86th birthday with family in Reno
  • July 18 depart Reno area, arrive in Emmett (Boise) Idaho. (7.5 hours and time change) 2 overnights here
  • July 20 depart Emmett, Idaho, and drove HOME! (8 hours)

This map may give you an idea of our destinations.


Off to Sunny Arizona

Desert Sunrise
View from my brother’s home

After a week in San Diego, we drove 6 hours to Prescott, Arizona, home to my good friend, Marsha, and her husband.

Honestly, we were giddy with excitement to hang out with fellow retirees and enjoy the company of seasoned adults! Vince and Marsha’s hospitality knows no bounds. To help accommodate our dogs, they had us stay in Vince’s sister’s condo. We had our own space, which was delightful and so unexpected. Oh, and the air conditioning was top-notch!

They treated us to wonderful meals, like homemade Reuben sandwiches upon our arrival, and lovely dinners in the cute downtown area of Prescott. We spent Wednesday at Watson Lake playing on paddleboards described in this post!

Watson Lake
Paddling is popular at Watson Lake

On Thursday, Marsha and Vince traveled with us to the Scottsdale area, about a 2-hour drive from Prescott. We had made plans to meet up for lunch with three other bloggers (more about that next week). We also took a quick tour of Vince and Marsha’s lovely AirB&B condo. Then it was off to Fountain Hills, a few minutes northeast, where my brother and partner live.

A fab foursome
Fabulous Friends

We spent four days at my brother’s house. They purchased this home in August 2020 during the pandemic, so we had not been here yet.

DandC dining room
Several desserts were enjoyed in my brother’s dining room

My brother-in-law is Mr. Hospitality. After all, his degree was in marketing, and he’s spent almost 20 years in the business. Not only is their house amazing, but he prepared delectable meals and desserts. Marsha shared some of their home photos in this post.

Not only that but he also scheduled an in-home masseuse to give all four of us massages, and Sunday, their yoga instructor came to the home as we enjoyed sunrise yoga overlooking the desert.

Dawn in the Desert
Dawn in the Desert

Did you know that, although Arizona is not the official “sunshine state,” (Florida gets that distinction), Yuma is the sunniest place in America? Not surprising!

“And may sunshine and happiness surround you when you’re far from home.” -Rod Stewart

On the Road Again

On Monday, July 11th we said our goodbyes and drove back to San Diego to spend a quick night, then left early Tuesday to drive back to the Sacramento delta to camp in the RV for two nights before heading to Reno for my dad’s birthday celebration. Whew! After the oppressive heat earlier in Arizona, the delta was wonderfully windy and cool. Hans got in some windsurfing, and we spent our last night having a wonderful BBQ with friends before we said farewell.

From the Sacramento Delta to Reno, Nevada was about a three-hour drive. We drove through the North Lake Tahoe area, passing Donner Lake, and checked into the Boomtown KOA in Verdi. Reno is in the high desert of the Eastern Sierra Nevadas and yep, it was hot! Guess what, our RV’s A/C worked amazingly well! Relief!!

RV View of Truckee River from Verdi, Nevada KOA
RV View of Truckee River from Verdi, Nevada KOA

Family Celebration with Dessert in Reno’s High Desert

This entire road trip was calculated to be able to celebrate my dad’s 86th birthday on July 15th, which was the climax of the entire road-trip experience. As dad ages, none of us know when we might see him again. None of us live close to him any longer, but it is easier for us to travel to him in most cases. For this occasion, my brother organized the event at the hotel in Reno. My dad and step-mom had only to drive 2 hours to Reno from their home near Auburn, California.

Dad was so touched and surprised to find his kids and grandkids waiting for him when they arrived Friday afternoon at the hotel.

Family photo

We cherished every moment we could spend with dad and the rest of the family! We spent four nights in the Reno area and left early Monday morning bound for Boise, Idaho.

The Long and Windy Road to Boise, Idaho

We got a nice start and were excited to travel further east on Hwy 80, where neither of us had driven before. Forty miles south of Winnemucca, Nevada, Hans asked me to look out the passenger window at the RV tires, which I could not see. He pulled over and sure enough, a flat tire on the trailer. Groan. He fixed it on the side of the freeway.

RV flat tire 2022
RV flat tire 2022

Apparently, it is not a Schrandt signature road trip without a flat tire.

We grabbed another spare at good ‘ole Les Schwab tires (I highly recommend them) and they got us back on the road in 45 minutes!! Just like the TV commercials!

After leaving Winnemucca, we drove northbound on Hwy 95 into Eastern Oregon and then into the Boise area. I was struck by just how much Boise looks like Sacramento. A wide agricultural valley surrounded by mountains. Our brother-in-law Vince and his wife, Teri (confused yet with these names?) hosted us in their amazing house on their 5-acre property. We were simply going to camp in their driveway, but they insisted their guest room would be perfect…and it was! Once again, hot weather was on tap and we enjoyed the AC in their home for two nights.

Emmett Idaho
5-acre property in Emmett

I was touched by their heartfelt hospitality, and we had a blast getting to know them better. Sure, we see them on family holidays when they travel to Spokane to be with the other 40 family members, so this was a real treat to spend quality time with them! Speaking of treats, how about dessert for breakfast with her homemade waffles and syrup?

Dessert for breakfast

All Roads Lead to Home

All good things must come to an end, as they say, and we wearily drove from Boise back to our home in 8 hours! We came home to heat (of course) and managed to unload everything. Then we had to water the trees and backyard lawn. I wanted to kiss the ground, but oh, the weeds!

That’s for another story.

Inspiring Photo Challenges

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

This Week’s Featured Bloggers

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared photos of deserts and desserts. I add these all week as new links are posted. Thank you to everyone who consistently links to Sunday Stills each week!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.

Next week, we’ll start off August with the theme of “Summer.” What does summer mean to you? Here I will share more about our blogger meet-ups! Stay tuned!

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122 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: #Dessert in the #Deserts

  1. I’ve been on that road to Prescott, took it to look for houses. Let me pick your brain. That high road behind the town had some beautiful homes that overlooked the hills. That’s what I want but I don’t know where it was. The town I loved, but had too many restrictions on living there (like had to leave your backyard wild and small hoa).

    What road is that in your first picture? Is that the one I fell in love with? If so, I’m going back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you come back, be sure to give me a call. Hwy 89A runs through Prescott. 89 going north towards Sedona goes through Jerome, the not-so-ghost-town-ghost town. Very scary road! Prescott itself has some beautiful mountain homes minutes from the center of town.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Somehow I stumbled past those the first time I drove into town, thought the realtor would take me back–he didn’t–and then couldn’t find them. I asked him for mountain views and he showed me a mountain with buildings on it. Sigh.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Not a great realtor! We have a super realtor. She and her husband worked with us for about a year before we finally made the move, sending us listings. We both made several trips out here to look at places. Eventually we bought two places because Vince’s sister needed a home, too. Now they are great friends.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! That’s quite a road trip for one post. Glad you could spend some time with your dad on his birthday!
    I love your desert photos, I know I am going to miss those beautiful desert scenes since selling our place in Buckeye.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Terri, there were no desserts or deserts in my photos this week, but I sure enjoyed yours. It is great that you can plan an entire road trip around visiting with friends and family and cover that much road. Sounds like heat (and a flat tire) were the only hiccups encountered, so I’d say that was a pretty successful three weeks. I just commented to another blogger that I find it ironic that Florida has been the ‘cool state’ this summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whew!………you need a vacation from your vacation Terri! It sounded like a fantastic trip with only a blown tire to carp about!
    You never did explain what the best dessert to have in the desert would be? Maybe ice cream with sprinkles?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely time you’ve been having! We have no deserts in the UK and Sam and I don’t eat desserts, and so I was a bit stumped over this one. I’m away with my granddaughter next Sunday, and so I’ll say bye for now and that I enjoyed reading your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m exhausted just reading your itinerary. Traveling with an RV in tow is always more stressful than traveling via vehicle alone. Unfortunately, I can relate to that flat tire all too easily. If there was even a hint of me missing our RV, that thought quickly faded with your tire photo When we returned home from our last RV trip, I too could’ve kissed the ground, but considering temps were well into the 100’s I surely would’ve burned my lips 🤣😁🤣

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For half our trip, we were able to store the RV in Sacramento free so we wouldn’t have to pull it so far–we stayed in friends’ and families’ homes, thank goodness. I’m sure we saved 100’s of dollars in gas (CA prices were/are ridiculous)!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That last note was supposed to go to Jacqui. This post brings back so many great memories, Terri. I can’t wait until Sept 21 to start making more fabulous memories in Portland, OR. We are so blessed. Your pictures turned out beautifully, and thanks for linking to my post that has more pictures of your brother’s beautiful AZ home. We felt so fortunate to meet your brother and Carey, and will soon have a contract with Carey’s company to manage our condo in Scottsdale. Talk about serendipitous! Vince was down there this week with the photographer and the cleaning person – plus playing a bit of poker at Talking Stick. For any poker players reading this, Vince called to report his “bad beat” in poker. He had a full house with 3 kings and 2 deuces. Another player held the other two deuces giving him four of a kind. Oh well, unlucky at cards… Talk to you soon. Have a great week, Terri. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Dessert” and “desert” – when I was a kid the teacher gave us the way to remember which word had two letter “s” – the one you wanted more of. I thought of that when I read your first line. The perfect definition of “dessert” was your father’s 86th birthday cake – now that is a cake! And the first course looked delicious as well. The pictures in the desert were so scenic and my favorite was the cactus with the mountains in the background – the colors were fabulous Terri.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, beautiful scenery abounds – of the two cactus-against-the sky pics, the orange sky really caught my eye. Yes, we are all so rain deficient except poor Kentucky and I didn’t know Arizona had monsoons, so I learned something!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Phew, you packed in so much, Terri. But how great that you caught up with so many family and friends. Your dad looks so happy in the photos. He must have had the happiest of birthdays with all his family celebrating with him. That’s such a great photo of you all. One to treasure.

    I’m not a fan of the heat or deserts (for that matter). Thank goodness we don’t have any deserts in the UK.

    It must be great to be back home, especially after the holiday. Did your garden survive while you were away? Hopfully, there was some rain to water the plants.

    How’s this for dessert?

    This is a custard slice, not to be confused with an ice-slice or vanilla slice. My mother used to make these, and you could guarantee they’d all be gone in one helping.

    Welcome home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hugh! It is great to be back…to the heat, oh well. July was a crazy month and half of it not at home! With so few deserts in Europe (if any?), it’s no wonder the Grand Canyon is one of the top destinations for Germans!
      The garden survived, just barely. The lady who watered didn’t water much so our grass was close to dead as was two of our trees. Luckily since we’ve been home, we’ve been watering certain areas of the property for hours a day. Thank goodness our water rates aren’t anything like California’s.
      My dad was very touched and excited so everything was worth the efforts to be there for him. I love your image of the custard slice…a pie judging by the crust? Looks amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Many happy hospitality and family memories in this post. It’s heartwarming that many family members could gather for your dad’s birthday. I also love the desert photos so much. You got to see some great sky over there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read every word Terri, I promise you – I’m getting road trip itchy feet and loved having a virtual one with you to tide me over until I can do one for real! I’m not sure that I’ll fit a post in this week, as we’ve been away for a few days and I’m still catching up 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All so true, Jo, thank you! I’ve decided my brother and SIL are saints. They adopted 2 sets of sisters who were abused and abandoned, each set adopted a few years apart. They just adopted a newborn who was exposed to meth in utero. All
      of these lovely nieces of mine are thriving!


  12. This was such a journey Terri. To see parts of our country while planning visits with family and friends is fantastic. Cool that your dads birthday was planned accordingly. All the desserts look heavenly to me. I guess deserts and desserts go well together. Im here to stay. Look forward to your next visit, too. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a desert person, too Bernie! It was a long road trip but necessary this year to visit everyone’s new homes and see family. Grandbabies grow too quickly, we hope to have them up here for a stay when they get a little older. It was fun to meet fellow bloggers–I’m writing more about that this Sunday!


  13. Sounds like you had a busy and eventful road trip, Terri! So nice to see and catch up with friends and family, right? (As I write this in MA after just returning from Belgium.)

    But that heat… It’s hard enough when you live in a house, let alone when traveling around in a camper. Our current truck camper does not have AC and it has been biting us in the butt, lately. It’s time to head to cooler climes, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We enjoyed most of the moments, Liesbet! The heat was no fun, and both dogs and I experienced mild heat-related illnesses. Luckily we only had the RV in northern Cal, Reno and Idaho. I hope you manage to stay cool in your camper. We’re getting too old for this heat, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Terri,
    No pictures from me this week, but I’m so glad your summer trip has gone (mostly) well. Your desert sunrise picture is lovely and the colors are fabulous. So glad you got to spend some time with your Dad. Wish I could do the same. Please stay in touch! Joe

    Liked by 1 person

  15. pS
    We don’t really do desserts – (maybe something made with stevia, certain fruit, or85% cocoa dark chocolate)
    But I did have a recent photo of a meal that tasted like dessert to me and would sure have enough fat and vitamins to help me endure the desert//
    Bacon and eggs with avocado !

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha! Well Terri – if you have your health and still have the daily deserts – then keep doing what you do because that is what it comes down too! Sadly – my body terrain broke down and in 2014 I had to change everything to rebuild it! I leaned that cravings meant nutritional deficiency or was feeding candidiasis or was a brain thing! Whew! But I didn’t easily walk away from sugar and carbs and it took years to finally mentally release the joy connected to it and to also use food and supplements (and cleaning) to rebuild my health and immune system- and again / we all have different things going on and for some reason – my body (adipose imbalance and gut health) broke down and traditional sugar desserts (and my favs ginger snaps and fig bars) had to go!
        Anyhow / it is amazing how what we thought would feel like deprived is actually just not desired anymore! It if it is – we make alternatives that meet the need without the insulin spikes etc

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks – and cheers to health!
        I forgot to tell you that I thought of you twice in July!
        First – I had just read your post about “playing” and that night – we are at our community pool – and a little girl asked us to play water frisbee and part of why I said yes was because your post was fresh in my mind!
        I do make time to play but Terri – think I was getting a little dry in that area – so we formed a triangle and tossed that frisbee getting air and diving for it!
        Dang! Rejuvenating!
        Second time- my hubs out the pressure on me to kayak with him (I was Uber busy with work projects) anyhow – once out there – it was a huge jolt of joy and I thought of the images with you and Marsha paddling down the river – ahhhhh – fun when we think of our blog friends

        Liked by 1 person

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